McKownville Improvement Association
- Trees and Shrubs for McKownville

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We hope to inspire as many neighbors as possible to plant a tree this year. If not a tree, maybe you will be excited to plant a shrub. We have researched and compiled lists of trees and shrubs to make choosing a tree or shrub easier for you and your neighbors in McKownville.
These are separated into a list for trees suitable for planting along the streets,
and, for planting in yards away from the street, lists of preferred trees, and another list for shrubs.

We are the caretakers of our neighborhood! We inherited the towering oaks and maples planted and maintained by previous residents. Many of us were drawn here because of the tree-lined streets. Let’s work together to preserve the beauty of our neighborhood by replacing any trees that have died and adding new ones. We will proudly pass down a neighborhood filled with beautiful trees and shrubs, teeming with songbirds, owls, hawks and small mammals, to the next generation of families - perhaps even members of yours - who love our neighborhood too!

      verticillata, Winterberry ‘Red Sprite’
There are practical considerations:
Growing Zone: Our growing zone is 5a. That means we can safely plant species that are able to survive winter temperatures down to -20. All the selections are suitable to zone 5. Most of the selections are safe to -30, which is zone 4.

Size: McKownville is not known for large spacious lots. We were mindful in choosing smaller varieties for small yards such as a Gray birch or the spectacular and under appreciated Black gum (Tupelo).

Light: Consider the amount of light in your yard. Full sun, which is at least 6 hours of sun daily, is desired by most plants. The Pagoda dogwood and Striped maple are examples of species that prefer the dappled light of the understory, and will tolerate more shade.

Soil: Most trees prefer drier soil but there are those that can handle less oxygen and do well in wetter areas like the Red maple.

Insects: Hemlock trees are a beautiful native conifer but the woolly adelgid is infecting them. It would be better to plant a conifer that is resistant to this insect like the White fir.

Native Species and the Ecosystem:
If you like seeing birds or butterflies you need to plant native species to support them. Butterflies start out as caterpillars and they need native trees, shrubs and plants as hosts. Birds need caterpillars and other insects to feed themselves and their offspring.
For example, just think for a minute about caterpillars. Pyrrharctia isabella, the tiger moth, lays its eggs on birch and maple trees in our area. Those eggs become woolly bear caterpillars. A butterfly bush supplies nectar for many pollinators but it is a non-native plant and hosts no species of caterpillar. However, a wisteria planted near by hosts 19 different species of caterpillar and a winterberry hosts 39 different species of caterpillar. Caterpillars produce spectacular moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) but they are also an important food source to fill the bellies of birds! A chickadee needs over 6,000 of them to feed a single clutch. One song bird can eat an average of 300 caterpillars every day. Many of us love to feed and watch the birds outside of our windows!

Remember, not everything needs to be native but maybe have a goal to add one native plant or shrub every year. Sometimes it is just as important to grow something because of its beauty or that you like its fragrance.

If you wish to read more and in more depth about these considerations, and about trees, shrubs and other plants,
we have compiled a list of online and book resources which we recommend and which have been used to make the selections in our lists of recommended plantings.

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